Premier Wynne to Let them Eat Cheese as Ag Schools Close in Eastern Ontario by Jamie Gilcig

Wynne Truck CornwallCORNWALL Ontario – Is Premier Kathleen Wynne playing hide the Canoli with Education dollars?  The part time Agricultural Minister saw the shut down of two Farming programs as the University of Guelph shut down The Kemptville Agricultural College and Francophone Alfred Campus.

While there is some partisan points being scored by such Conservatives as our area MPP and future MPP candidate both of those gentlemen are on the board to bring a University to Cornwall Ontario?

And what better choice now that a Bilingual Agricultural Campus or at least one featuring Agriculture.  The Two options on the table from sources have shared with CFN are NAV Can and the former Cornwall General Hospital.

Politics is a funny game and many times you have to look really hard to see the strings that may or may not be pulled?

The timing of the closures was even more bewildering as the Preme just announced a cool Million dollars support for the St. Albert’s Cheese factory that had a major fire.     This writer is asking why the plant warranted an extra mil after whatever they received in Insurance?

Even more boggling is the initial press release claim that this tech will create jobs at the plant as technology usually reduces labour needs?

Ontario is helping St. Albert Cheese Co-operative establish a new state-of-the-art cheese manufacturing operation to support 110 local jobs and strengthen the economy.


A provincial investment of $1 million will help the co-operative purchase equipment and establish a computerized production line for their new facility, which replaces their former factory that was lost to a fire in 2013. The new operation will process 50 million litres of local milk a year, create 10 new jobs and support the more than 100 jobs that were displaced as a result of the fire. At 76,000 square feet, the building will be 30 per cent larger and will feature a manufacturing plant, an observation deck for visitors, a retail store and a restaurant.


Supporting the province’s agri-food industry is part of the government’s economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario’s greatest strengths — its people and strategic partnerships.


“St. Albert Cheese has been a cornerstone of this community for the past 120 years, and I’m proud to support this important project. Through hard work and determination, I know St. Albert will once again be a vital part of the region’s economy and provide good jobs for local families.”

— Kathleen Wynne, Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Food

Queried further on this a government spokesperson emailed:

The 10 new jobs are based on what St. Albert foresees in the next 1-3 years.

The cheese plant will need more labour for activities related to logistics (inventory, transport, etc.); new product packaging (custom work for other dairies, or for St. Albert itself, which will take place in the now larger cutting room)and potentially new product development such as goat milk.


So, all things considered, increased business activities at St. Albert will create 10 additional jobs. This estimate is based on discussion with St. Albert management.

It’s all about money of course, and votes.  Here is an excerpt from the University’s official release.

Currently, it costs about $4.6 million a year to support teaching, research, operations and maintenance at Kemptville, and nearly $2.3 million at Alfred. There are also substantial indirect costs for things such as animal care, student support services and health and safety. “Clearly, this is not sustainable,” Summerlee said.

Consolidating the regional campus programs will eliminate upwards of 37 full-time positions at Alfred and 75 at Kemptville, as well as a number of part-time and casual workers.

Will Kemptville and Alfred’s loss be Cornwall’s gain?   The initial study that sucked over $50K from taxpayers still has never been produced.   Certainly nothing will be happening in the short term.  In the meanwhile, families in Eastern Ontario will be forced to see their kids have to move to Guelph to continue in the great tradition of farming.

What do you think dear viewers of CFN?  You can post your comments below.

Stephane St Denis

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